It took courage for Ida B. Wells to speak out against hate and prejudice, but that’s exactly what she did. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. Her parents were slaves, so she was a slave, too. But before her first birthday, Ida was freed by Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Although she and her family members had been freed, they probably didn’t notice much difference because life was so hard.

When she was 16, Ida’s parents died of Yellow Fever. To keep her brothers and sisters together, she supported her family by teaching school. To find better opportunities, she moved her family to Memphis, Tennessee where she continued teaching and began her career as a writer. In Memphis, she published a newspaper and spoke out against prejudice and violence. In later life, she moved to Chicago, Illinois where she became perhaps the most famous black woman in America.

Ida B. Wells accomplished great things because she had the courage to speak truth, even when it was hard. And that’s a lesson all of us should remember.

Quotes About Freedom

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door to freedom.”
George Washington Carver

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”
Bob Dylan

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Mandela

“We must be free, not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
William Faulkner

“I’d like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and wanted other people to be also free.”
Rosa Parks